Ten Big Decisions

It's a very simple problem, from the GM chair

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=== Eyes Slideways ===

[COMIC PANEL ONE] You kiddies are desperately hoping for something to occur that might distract SSI, and cause it to talk about something other than soldiers killing people and breaking things.  

[COMIC PANEL TWO] Hector Noesi occurs today.  

[COMIC PANEL THREE]  ::crickets::  :: Dr D thrashes about for a punch line ::

Where is Jeff Sullivan when you really need him?

..........

The infield battles are not very interesting.  Well, it's interesting to see whether the M's will keep only two catchers, and whether they can find room for Alex Liddi or Nick Franklin.  But 1B-2B-SS-3B are set.

The 5-man outfield rotation is kind of interesting.  However, all of the outfielders other than Morse and possibly Saunders are of roughly equal talent.  Whether the M's give time to Casper Wells or Jason Bay is unlikely to swing the balance of power in the West.

The M's are loaded in the bullpen.  That's not a battle; it's an impending bloodbath.  For the other teams.  I know a couple of pricey AL West teams who had better get their leads by the 6th inning.  

..........

However, the starting rotation battle is both (1) fascinating and (2) a pivot point for the M's presumed future domination of hardball as we know it.

Cinderella teams occur, and usually they occur because Billy Beane finds five starting pitchers who lock you down.  The M's cleanest path to a big season is by getting a surprise rotation going.  It could like totally happen.  It is most heinously the job of the shot-callers to MAKE it happen.  They can't afford to be feebleminds on their rotation calls.

Capt Jack and Sgt Wedge can afford to indulge their biases on Robert Andino or Jason Bay or Raul Ibanez or three catchers.  They gotta get the rotation right.

...........

Bill James learned, once he got inside baseball, that Theo Epstein's GM seasons depended on 10 or 12 mammoth decisions he made each season, and whether those turned out to be the right calls.  HERE is where they gotta get it right.  

If you look back from November 2013, and the Mariners turned out to have a great season, it says here it will probably have been -- primarily -- because they made the right calls in the rotation.

NEXT

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rick82Outbid by the ChiSox. Why didn't they go more? If I had to guess, I think we're gonna see that Upton deal. Failing that, apparently the M's are more bullish on Romero than we thought. And why not. In 526 AAA ABs he's batted .300 with 23 HRs and 110 RBIs, and we aren't talking Salt Lake City or Colo Springs. He's had his first exposure at the big league level last season so that's out of the way. He and Miller can sting the ball from opposite sides. The M's must really like their talent - enough to hold firm on what was still a darned competitive offer and meanwhile discuss the ability to go creative in the OF if necessary. But I think they've got an good offer on the table for Upton, and may be prepared to sweeten it. Lloyd said we need two bats. He wouldn't have said it if it weren't a preordained priority I don't think it takes Walker to get a one year rental. It would probably take DJ, Marte, and Hultzen or Sanchez.6 hours 10 min ago
SABR MattThis is really...really dumb. Letting Cabrera go top Chicago is AWFUL baseball by Zduriencik. The best option left is a Rios/Rasmus platoon6 hours 29 min ago
GLSI agree with Taro. Holding out on the 4h year for Melky makes very little sense to me.6 hours 34 min ago
TaroSigh....will be pretty ticked off if the Ms dont find a legitimate starting RF. And I don't consier RIos or Vicieco legitimate options.7 hours 47 min ago
TaroSo we go four years for Nelson Cruz's age 35-38 seasons, but can't go four for Melky's 31-34 seasons. . Completely don't understand it. I we were picking one, Melky was the better choice.7 hours 47 min ago
TaroI'm not a fan of any of the alternatives the Ms are rumored to be interested in.. Rooting for Aoiki on cheap in the OF at this point.. Still want Souza but not holding my breath.7 hours 55 min ago
TaroFrustrating that we weren't willing to go four.7 hours 57 min ago
moethedogWe could do worse than 2 years of Rios and 2 of Rasmus, btw. The former seems more likely now, doesn't he. I would still Souza, and wouldn't mind giving up Ackley to get it done. As well, I have no doubt that Kivlehan is ready by June. All the same, two relatively affordable/complementary veterans seems about right. A reminder: We need another guy who can play 1B (Morrison isn't a great bet to avoid injury) and we need that 2nd CF. Which one are you betting on there: Rasmus or Souza or Miller?8 hours 13 min ago
moethedogAnd here we go: Who's the next guy on our list? MLBTR.... The White Sox have agreed to terms with Melky Cabrera on a three-year contract, 670thescore.com’s Bruce Levine tweets. The deal is pending a physical. Cabrera is a client of the Legacy Agency. I didn't think he wanted to come to Seattle.8 hours 25 min ago
IcebreakerXMelky to the South Side.8 hours 26 min ago
rick82Three U.S. born blacks out of a 40 man roster is actually pretty standard. Looking over previous M teams, it isn't out of the ordinary at all. The 80's had rosters that doubled the number, but not always.The 95 M's had two: Griffey, Vince Coleman. The 2001 team had Cammy, Rhodes, Al Martin, McLemore. It just seems like there used to be a lot more. Perhaps that's because such a high percentage of HOFers over the past 50 years were U.S. born blacks. Seems they once dominated the game. But even the 68 Cards had Brock, Flood, Gibson...and that's it. But they dominated the game.9 hours 41 min ago
SABR MattI notice that a big chunk of the guys in baseball who are african american play CF. I find that interesting.10 hours 21 min ago
rick82Austin....right, Bat. Thanks!11 hours 8 min ago
Bat571I agree, Matt - getting Souza at this point, even though he's blocked in Washington will require either an overpay, or taking an unwanted contract back. But I'd still do Ackley and Medina for Souza and Leon in a heartbeat, even if it's an apparent overpay. Steamer has Souza at a .777 OPS, while they have Seager and Cruz at .767 and Morrison at .757 and Melky at .770. Cano is projected at .821. Yes, Souza would slot in nice between Seager and Morrison!13 hours 37 min ago
John PierceThe excitement generated for Souza must be based on his impressive minor league stats and not on his really, really short, unimpressive, stint in the majors. I am not sure Z would be interested in someone like Souza to finish filling in the big league roster.14 hours 2 min ago
Bat571Rick --I believe Austin Jackson is African-American as well. That gives the Mariners 3/40, which is 7.5% - about in line with all the other clubs. I agree there should be more, but the facilities, equipment and opportunities for high-level play have to be there also in their teen years - and in the "cold-weather" states that's a problem for all races and groups. The YMCAs and heated/AC'd basketball courts are much more inviting year-round.14 hours 13 min ago
SABR Mattagreed GLS...I just think Souza is unlikely. He will cost a LOT more than VIciedo would.14 hours 55 min ago
GLSThe thing about Viciedo is that he'll likely never be more than what he is. As a platoon player, he has some value if used correctly, but Souza has the upside to be a legitimate plus player.15 hours 4 min ago
GLSTwo outfielders: 1) Melky and 2) Souza. I'd be pretty happy with that going into the season.15 hours 6 min ago